Rugby World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) has marked one year to go until the men’s and women’s double-header final takes place at Old Trafford, by announcing the latest recipients of its large grants for community clubs and organisations. The three new CreatedBy projects, part of the tournament’s wider InspirationALL social impact initiative, have taken the total funding for large grants projects to over £10 million.
Delivered by RLWC2021 in partnership with the sport’s national governing body, the Rugby Football League, Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the CreatedBy programme is a funding pot made available by the government in 2016 to support growth in participation in the sport.
The programme sees RLWC2021 invest in facilities and equipment and is dedicated to improving the environments where Rugby League takes place; giving people more and better opportunities to engage with the game and to get active.
The latest grants have been awarded to the following clubs:
Victoria Park ARLFC (Warrington) – The project will see £600,000 investment for the creation of a new 3G pitch. The investment will transform the club into a community Hub for the development and growth of Rugby League in Warrington. The club has fantastic community backing and is in partnership with Warrington Borough Council and supported by Warrington Wolves Foundation. The grant is to be used to help grow Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL), Learning Disability Rugby League (LDRL) and women’s and girls’ Rugby League. The site will also be the home of all fixtures for the PDRL World Cup, apart from the final, in 2021.
Thatto Heath Crusaders (St Helens) – The project will see the club convert an existing grass pitch to a carpet hybrid pitch, allowing for greater usage across the club’s teams, while increasing levels of participation in the local community. The project will also aim to combat fixture cancellation due to bad weather. Match quality floodlighting will be installed to maximise the potential use of the pitch. The facility will develop an improved Rugby League offer to support increasing participation in adult females, as well as the development of a girl’s pathway.
Siddal ARLFC (Halifax) – The grant will be used to convert an existing grass pitch to a carpet hybrid pitch with floodlighting, providing Siddal with more pitch capacity to accommodate all its rugby league activity. This will lead to increased levels of participation (training and match play) in the local community, while reducing the amount spent on hiring external training facilities due to an unplayable pitch. Greater opportunity to play rugby league will provide more opportunities for women and girls and develop a sustainable pathway for this area.
Andy Carter, MP for Warrington South said:
This is a very exciting milestone for Rugby League in Warrington, particularly as we have the World Cup just around the corner next year.
The £600,000 investment into Victoria Park will transform the area, providing better training facilities and pitches, but also providing a local community hub to support various activities, with many being spearheaded by the brilliant Warrington Wolves Foundation. I’m looking forward to visiting the project once complete and meeting with some of the players, it can’t come soon enough.
Jon Dutton, Chief Executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021, said:
With exactly a year to go until our finals at Old Trafford our social impact programme is really making a difference. To achieve £10million worth of new projects that will leave a long-lasting legacy in community rugby league is fantastic. As a tournament with a purpose we are dedicated to using the next twelve months to continue this much needed investment programme through the pledge that UK Government have made to the tournament.
The three latest projects are a celebration of partners working together for the greater good and I would like to place on record my thanks to Warrington Council, St Helens Council along with representatives of Thatto Heath Crusaders and Siddal who have worked tirelessly to find the match funding to enable the projects to become a reality.
We are confident that these new developments will become an essential part of their respective communities, offering future generations of the rugby league family a place to develop, while also having a positive impact on the larger community. Rugby League World Cup 2021 would like to wish all the projects and clubs the very best of success and we look forward to seeing the finished outcomes.